Wednesday, July 14, 2010

57 Great Jones

At 57 Great Jones Street, there's a little meat shop called Japan Premium Beef. It's been there for maybe a year and it has the look of the New Bowery--blank, white, expensive. Coolhunting said, "even vegetarians can appreciate its spare, minimalist decor, befitting a scene from a sci-fi flick or contemporary art installation."


image source

They think of their meat as art--it is definitely "curated"--and sell that super-trendy wagyu for $40 to $50 a pound. The people who go in to shop look like mega-wealthy retirees who, in their dotage, have decided to dress like rock stars, in outfits from Varvatos. Do they know the history of this address?


image source

Here's a flashback from the book Basquiat: "Friday, August 12, 1988. On the sidewalk outside 57 Great Jones Street, the usual sad lineup of crack addicts slept in the burning sun. Inside the two-story brick building, Jean-Michel Basquiat was asleep in his huge bed, bathed in blue television light. The air conditioner was broken and the room felt like a microwave oven. The bathroom door was ajar, revealing a glimpse of a black and tan Jacuzzi tub. On the ledge of the tub was a small pile of bloody syringes." Basquiat died here.


my flickr

Hanging in the window of the meat shop is a blown-glass sculpture replicating sausages. Through the sausages, you can look out at one of the last rough-and-tumble corners still standing on the Bowery, though it won't be standing for long.

As Grieve has reported, Downtown Auto and Tire will be demolished to make space for a nightclub from Italy via Miami. The club is described as posh, luxurious, and chic, with a decor "outfitted in all things black, from the stylish black leather couches with silver buttons, to the black-tinted mirrors throughout, to the fleur-de-lis textured black-on-black wallpaper."

And the Bowery Tsunami keeps on rolling.


my flickr

12 comments:

EV Grieve said...

I'm really curious about the future of the Downtown Auto and Tire corner. I'm not so sure the cafe concept went over so well last night... the Tire center is on a month-to-month lease. And, of course, one of the cafe backers suggested that if not them, it will be someone else.... the lesser-of-other-evils logic.

Anonymous said...

I will miss the Auto garage. It was always great to walk by and watch cars being repaired in small, beat-up garages, while the whole area around it changed. It's amazing it hung around this long.

Goggla said...

Silly me, I thought this meat shop was a lighting design store...lol.

I miss the days of the big blue-eyed dog who would either sit inside the door or lie on the sidewalk outside. I took pics of him/her for several years until one day, dog and owner vanished and the little building was white-washed. I've always wondered what became of them.

Jeremiah Moss said...

love to see those shots, Goggla!

Goggla said...

I will dig them out...I've definitely got a shot of the building before it was sanitized.

Rebecca said...

Oh no! I had no idea Auto Garage was leaving. I've been at Bowery b/t 2nd and 3rd for a decade. They once jumpstarted my car in like 110 degrees and have always been a good bunch. This new place sounds typically terrible. Tell me Great Jones Cafe isn't going anywhere please!!!

Goggla said...

Ah, I'm sorry. I was mistaken - thinking of the building immediately to the east:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/goggla/2183816987/

Anyhow, here's the dog:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/goggla/186840836/

I will keep digging...

Jeremiah Moss said...

just the same, nice shots. now it's all beige...

Anonymous said...

basquiat was a sign of the end of that neighborhood too, and should not be glamorized as anything but a sell-out to the crass commercialism of the 1980s.

michael said...

Why resist?

Just go with the flow. It's less stressful. Become a self-important yunnie. Normal people seem to be a diminishing minority anyway.

When in Rome...

Anonymous said...

Been in NY for a month, already in love w/ Great Jones Café.

Anonymous said...

someone's death is not romantic.
wait till it happens to your parent(s)
or siblings.


some have little values over themselves
or anyone else. everything is disposable including
themselves.